Airlines encouraged to embrace a “Mobile-First” payments mentality

"The Mobile Payments Imperative for Global Airlines: 2016 Outlook," from payment solutions company CellPoint Mobile, is urging global airlines to adopt a "mobile-first" mind-set around payments and passenger-centric services to capture more of the US$762 billion estimated by eMarketer to emerge from digital travel-related transactions by 2019.

Airline revenues will come from higher conversions (more "lookers to bookers,"), higher acceptance rates for payments, and support for a broad range of traditional and alternate payment methods (APMs), according to Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Mobile. Those three components are necessary as the majority of passengers' payments and interactions with airlines will shift to the mobile environment in the not-too-distant future.By 2019, some 55% of all global commerce transactions (or US$1.3 trillion of an estimated US$2.4 trillion), will arise from Alternative Payment Methods (APMs) such as Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Visa Checkout, MasterPass, Amex Express Checkout, m-pesa, pre-paid cards and others, according to recent payments industry forecasts. "Airlines have much to gain by embracing mobile payments and transactions quickly and effectively – and so much to lose if they do not," says Gjerding.The Mobile Payments Imperative report also notes that while mobile payments are still in their formative years, they have a growth trajectory that places high expectations on airlines to stay current with mobile technologies and solutions as they emerge, evolve and deploy."Airlines that seize opportunities now will be well positioned for continued growth and higher revenues in the coming years," adds Gjerding. "Those that do not will find it incredibly challenging to catch up later."

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